Drug dealer roundup highlights overcrowded jail

MORRISTOWN, Tenn. (AP) -- The Hamblen County sheriff's ongoing roundup of suspected drug dealers has further highlighted overcrowding problems at the county jail, but the sheriff says he's not going to back down from his job.

Since Operation Pills Kill started on Saturday, the Citizen Tribune reports 38 people have been arrested and increased the jail population to 327, more than the licensed capacity of 255.

The jail was decertified in large part because of overcrowding, but Sheriff Esco Jarnagin said he and his deputies won't back down from arrests. He said his job is to operate the jail that the county furnishes.

Stancil Ford, chair of the county commission, said he doesn't envision money for a new jail being included in the 2013-14 budget, but a committee is studying the jail's problems.

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